The outreach of this vibrant, diverse parish is centered on social justice.
Silver Spring, MD – June 16, 2020 – The Grace Episcopal Church community condemns racism in any form and supports the Black Lives Matter movement that is sweeping the world. Grace has one of the most diverse congregations in the Diocese of Washington. The Grace community is young and old, black and white, native born Americans and immigrants, gay and straight, married and single. As a community, we want to deepen our connection with God in a community that is accessible to and respectful of all people regardless of race, age or gender.
“We follow Christ’s example in challenging racism: building a community of faith that demands racial justice,” said Rev. Richard Kukowski, interim rector of Grace Episcopal Church. “As a community of faith, our values prompt us to raise awareness of and interrupt all forms of racism.”
During the recent events and death of many black people at the hands of police, Grace is committed to take action on racial justice within and beyond the Grace Church community. In 2016, Grace created its racial justice ministry, “Wade in the Water.”
On May 31, the Wade in the Water ministry gathered the Grace community for a peaceful protest against systemic racism. Between 350-400 people gathered for the socially-distanced protest along Georgia Avenue. Our friends from Silver Spring United Methodist Church joined us in our peaceful protest.
During the night of June 14, a cemetery marker on the Grace Church grounds was defaced by unknown assailants who are unfamiliar with the church community. The church’s current value and beliefs differ greatly from the beliefs of people in the 1800s. At that time, the church, as divided as the nation itself, included Union supporters and Confederate sympathizers.
Today, Grace joins countless others who raise concerns about Confederate statues. Although, we strongly reject slavery for which Confederate soldiers fought, we acknowledge that these soldiers are buried in consecrated ground, just as their former opponents received at Battleground National Cemetery.
For years, Grace has wrestled with this marker, knowing that we must dedicate ourselves to learn from our past, and to truly seek reconciliation through Christ. Now, Grace Episcopal Church strives every day to be that “City on a Hill” where people of all races and cultures come to build their relationships with God and others.